What to Bring to the United States


Because of seasonal climate variations, it is important to bring both lightweight and heavyweight clothing, as well as rain wear. Summer weather is warm and pleasant in Corvallis. Temperatures usually range from 9 to 24 degrees C. In contrast, the winter season is usually cool (0 to 7 degrees C) and wet. You may wish to buy at least some basic items before you leave home. Warm clothes (such as sweaters and a coat), a rain jacket, and an umbrella are essential! There is no official or required dress code at OSU. Most students wear casual clothing, often jeans or pants. Occasionally you may need more formal clothing such as a sport coat (or suit) for men and a business suit/dress for women. Above all, informal and comfortable clothing is practical for everyday occasions.

Linens, Bedding and Room Furnishings

Students must provide items such as pillows, blankets, towels and room furnishings for on or off-campus housing. Bed sizes may vary from one country to another, so it is best to postpone such purchases until you arrive in Corvallis. These items can be found in Corvallis and are fairly inexpensive.

Miscellaneous Items

You may wish to bring with you items of cultural interest (such as photos, books, slides, musical instruments, raditional clothing and taped music) if there is room in your luggage. The International Students of Oregon State University (ISOSU) and community organizations arrange special events that highlight the rich cultural diversity of OSU. These activities include fashion shows, international dinners, cultural exhibits, talent shows and discussion groups. Many spices and food items from other countries can be found in Corvallis but be sure to bring recipes with you. Most electrical outlets in the U.S. give 110-volt AC current at a frequency of 60 cycles. Appliances brought from some countries will not work on this current. They may work with a special electrical outlet adapter that has blade-like (not rounded) prongs.


Before coming to the U.S., familiarize yourself with procedures for transferring funds from your home country. Upon arrival be prepared to pay your initial expenses for tuition, room and board, books, health insurance, and personal items. Banks and savings associations are located near the OSU campus. Shortly after your arrival, you will want to select a bank and open a checking or savings account. For safety reasons, you should carry any large sums of money ($50 or more) in the form of draft checks or traveler's checks. However, plan to carry some change for small items and phone calls.

Tuition and other educational expenses (such as fees, on-campus housing, and meal plans) are to be paid at the beginning of each term. (Please note that some departments have additional instructional fees.) If you have been awarded a graduate teaching or research assistantship or a tuition waiver, you still must pay student fees of approximately $500 at the beginning of each term. You should come prepared to pay living expenses, as your first salary payment may not be available for 6-8 weeks after you arrive.

If you plan to live off campus, bring enough money to cover initial expenses such as rent and utility (gas, electric and telephone) deposits. These deposits and the first month's rent may range from $1,000 to $1,500. There may also be expenses for household items (furniture, kitchen equipment, etc.).

If you expect funds from your home country for your OSU studies, ensure that satisfactory arrangements for payment are made before you depart. You should know your government's regulations on currency exchange and bank procedures for money transfers to the United States. Delays in the transfer of educational funds can create hardship and inconvenience. Financial assistance for international students in the U.S. is extremely limited. Furthermore, U.S. immigration regulations governing the employment of non-immigrant students are very strict. Therefore, you should plan to have at least one full month's living expenses in reserve at all times.

Traveler's Health Insurance

If you do not have health insurance from your home country that will cover you while you are in the US, purchase of a travel insurance policy to cover the trip and the first 30 days in the U.S. is strongly recommended. All insurance must meet US State Department requirements. Written proof of policy benefits must be translated into English.

Cost of U.S. Health Care: Health care in the U.S. is very expensive, and most U.S. healthcare providers will not bill international insurance companies. We recommend that you have a source of income readily available (such as a credit card with a high spending limit) to pay for treatment of accidents, illnesses or pre-existing conditions. Be prepared to pay for any and all medical services and to be responsible for submitting claims to the insurance company for reimbursement.